Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard Director of Marketing & Digital Assets
12/5/22 2:48 p.m.
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We zeroed in on our ideal Volkswagen Golf GTI–a 2017 Sport with a DSG transmission–and successfully purchased one from Carvana. Time for the race track, right?

Not so fast. Before we take any used car on track, we give it a thorough tech inspection.

The reality is this: Even in…

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GCrites80s
GCrites80s Dork
12/5/22 9:07 p.m.

I had never thought about auto-locking doors being a problem on track. Even my IROC's alarm does that even though I swapped over to a manual. When it's in neutral the car thinks it's in park so when I select a gear they lock shorty thereafter. Hmm

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard Director of Marketing & Digital Assets
12/5/22 9:25 p.m.

In reply to GCrites80s :

Yeah, it's a super common feature and I'm surprised people don't talk about it more. Theoretically your window is open for HPDE so a locked door wouldn't be the end of the world, but why make it harder for workers to reach you? It's usually easy to turn off in the settings menu.

And yes, in theory most modern cars will unlock if a crash is detected, but I'd rather not rely on them to detect the crash and have 12v power to unlock doors. 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
12/6/22 1:36 p.m.

I'd add that most/all of this can apply to a car primarily used for street, too.

Just bought a new/used car? Can you easily remove the wheels, or are they rusted in place? I'd rather find out in the garage than on the side of the highway. 

Good info here. 

audiguy
audiguy New Reader
2/15/23 3:48 p.m.

Looking forward to this project car build.  Will you corner scale the car in an upcoming segment?  

cyow5
cyow5 Reader
2/13/24 10:55 a.m.
David S. Wallens said:

I'd add that most/all of this can apply to a car primarily used for street, too.

Just bought a new/used car? Can you easily remove the wheels, or are they rusted in place? I'd rather find out in the garage than on the side of the highway. 

Good info here. 

Since they bumped the article, I figured I'd echo this comment. A few years ago I had bought a JCW Clubman, and it had one of those bazillion point dealer inspections. In Virginia, where I lived, I had to pass state inspections to register it, and that's when they caught a low brake pad. Turns out the dealer only checked the pads that were visible from the outside with the wheels on and missed the stuck caliper. It also taught me to never rely on brake pad wear sensors when they are only on one pad on two corners. There are still 6 pads that can wear prematurely and need to be checked, so two sensors is nearly useless. 

A little brake grease and the caliper never seized again, and I had nice even brake pad wear for the rest of my ownership. I just don't assume the pads wear evenly any more...

 

GCrites
GCrites Dork
2/13/24 8:16 p.m.

Rusty rotors made 1 pad wear much faster than the others on my Civic. It was gone while the other pads on the same axle still had 7mm.

BA5
BA5 HalfDork
2/13/24 8:50 p.m.

Why did you replace the wheel bolts instead of just wire wheeling them?

Growl_R
Growl_R New Reader
2/13/24 9:24 p.m.

The higher the dry boiling point of brake fluid, the better. 

The higher the WET boiling point, the BEST! 

Motul RBF600 FTW!

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard Publisher
2/13/24 9:43 p.m.

In reply to BA5 :

I wire-wheeled one and discovered how much metal was missing, then replaced them. Seemed stupid to go on track with  missing threads when replacing them only cost a few bucks. 

theruleslawyer
theruleslawyer New Reader
2/13/24 11:09 p.m.
BA5 said:

Why did you replace the wheel bolts instead of just wire wheeling them?

Bolts/studs are a wear item and pretty cheap. You should be replacing them every year or two depending on your track schedule. If I'm buying a high mileage car, I might as well replace them so I know the service life. Same idea as fluids really.

Fred930
Fred930 New Reader
6/18/24 5:35 p.m.

Several years ago, the BMW Car Club of America made it national policy to FORBID their individual regions from conducting track day tech inspections.  Expect that unwise decision was dreamed up by some Club lawyer without sufficient mechanical aptitude to even put air in his tires.  It was not uncommon for those quick cursory inspections to find loose lug nuts, marginal brake pads, cracked rotors, missing battery hold-downs, missing gas caps, and even occasional tire bulges from hitting a pothole on the way to the track.

To the best of my knowledge, that "policy" is still in effect - although hopefully I'm wrong. 

ClearWaterMS
ClearWaterMS HalfDork
6/18/24 6:56 p.m.
Fred930 said:

Several years ago, the BMW Car Club of America made it national policy to FORBID their individual regions from conducting track day tech inspections.  Expect that unwise decision was dreamed up by some Club lawyer without sufficient mechanical aptitude to even put air in his tires.  It was not uncommon for those quick cursory inspections to find loose lug nuts, marginal brake pads, cracked rotors, missing battery hold-downs, missing gas caps, and even occasional tire bulges from hitting a pothole on the way to the track.

To the best of my knowledge, that "policy" is still in effect - although hopefully I'm wrong. 

SCCA has a disclaimer that the only thing we check is aftermarket safety.  If you come to an SCCA time trial, you're expected to self-tech...  if you have any safety equipment (bars, seats, wheel, fire supression, etc.) than we need to look at it and make sure it appears in order and meets SCCA requirements...  

slockin
slockin New Reader
6/18/24 10:29 p.m.

In reply to Fred930 :

I've been doing track days with the BMW CCA since 2017 and there have always been tech inspections.  There's both a pre-event inspection and a tech inspection at the track.  So, there's definitely an emphasis on event safety.

They probably got the lawyers to focus on writing the liability wavier instead.

BURZA
BURZA New Reader
6/19/24 3:24 p.m.

What I tell everyone considering purchasing a used car. Replace all the fluids and filters. Then you have set for yourself a clean fresh baseline to work from.

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